[Photo: Pedestrian crossing a road]

Given that each year there are more than one million traffic fatalities worldwide, vehicle safety represents a central field of research here at ika. Our activities include working in the field of active safety, accident avoidance, as well as in the field of passive safety, whose main objective is reducing consequences and injuries from an accident. As a result the convergence between the two fields plays an important role in the “safety” field of research, for example with respect to the impact active safety systems have on accident severity and the nature of the collision.

Some of the main topics in this field of research are:

  • Developing chassis systems and driving dynamic control functions for fully utilising the potential traction available
  • Development and evaluation of driver assistance systems for controlling the vehicle in critical situations (driving safety)
  • Vehicle related measures for increasing safety of largely unprotected road users, such as cyclists or pedestrians
  • Crash compatibility of vehicles with each other
  • Using the potential of newer materials in the crash-oriented design of body structures
  • Safe integration of large electrical energy storage devices
  • Process support for functional safety according to ISO26262
  • Development of functional safety concepts for highly automated driving functions
  • Concepts for supplying energy to components that are critical for safety

The required development and evaluation tools for this are available at ika to smoothly implement and complete sophisticated research projects. These include, for example, test vehicles with comprehensive sensor and actuator technology, our in-house test track in Aachen as well as access to Aldenhoven Testing Centre (ATC), a driving simulator, drop towers, the institute’s own crash testing facility for component and entire vehicle crash tests, an outdoor crash testing facility, as well as a test rig for head impact tests for pedestrian protection. The comprehensive facilities are in addition to technical equipment and tools for extensive simulations on our own computer cluster that allow, for example, the coupling of finite element simulations and multi-body simulations for detailed mapping of an entire vehicle crash with very short calculation times.


Institute for Automotive Engineering (ika)
RWTH Aachen University

Steinbachstraße 7
52074 Aachen · Germany

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+49 241 80 25600
+49 241 80 22147